PR1 'A Rocha Delicada' (Mexilhoeira Grande Circular)

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This easy and mostly level circular trail introduces walkers to the peninsula known as Quinta da Rocha (after the small limestone promontory at its end) and the surrounding wetlands of the Rio de Alvor, where many birds feed, reproduce and rest.

The peninsula itself stands between the Odiáxere Brook and the Alvor River.
Starting at Mexilhoeira Grande Railway Station, the trail follows a dirt track towards the coast, eventually reaching an extensive area of natural saltmarsh and salt pans.

At Rocha Delicada, join a footpath along a dyke to head out into the estuary of the Rio Alvor. Here, you will enjoy spectacular views across the lagoon (left) and saltmarsh (right) and an abundance of birdlife and (at low tide) crabs.

In fact, this trail is great for those walkers who enjoy a spot of birdwatching, especially during migrations and during the winter months. For non-experts and those without binoculars, keep your eyes peeled for the largest species – storks and flamingos – as well as birds of prey, like the peregrine falcon, common kestrel and little owl.

This trail once carried on along the top of the dykes; however, it is no longer continuous, so you must retrace your steps to the beach and car park at Rocha Delicada. This delightful little beach is the perfect place to rest awhile.

The return section includes the only climb of the day and it's soon over. With the hard part behind you, enjoy the Algarvian countryside with drystone walls and dry orchards as well as the distant views of the Algarve's highest peaks, Fóia and Picota.

As you near the end of your walk, you'll pass the Centre for the Study and Observation of Nature, which is run by a charity A Rocha and has been responsible for several studies in the Ria de Alvor. Holidays are available here. For more information visit

Portugal - South Portugal - Western Algarve - Portimão


Birds, Great Views, Mostly Flat, Public Transport, Sea, Wildlife